QT Hotel Queenstown
QT is a boutique Australian hotel brand famous for their quirky interiors providing a sense of fun and playfulness that appeals to a younger metropolitan market. While the interiors are full of vibrancy, the exterior tends to be more understated, responding to the urban context rather than an external expression of the brand.
The site consisted of two existing buildings which date from 1952. A three-storey and two-storey structure evolved as the result of a fire, which defined the built envelope for the new building based on existing use rights. The new building had to be simply a ghostly reincarnation of the previous structures that existed on the site. This lead to a flat roof approach with one lower form intersecting the other. To express these different forms, a change in materiality from white render to vertical metal cladding helped to break up the mass of the building in its context reflecting this historical quirk. An in-situ concrete base helps define the ground floor entrance zone and breaks the mass vertically.
The hotel is connected to the larger Rydges hotel via a link at level 6. A small secondary entrance was created to provide an address onto Brunswick Street. A schist wall draws guests into the entrance area combined with a timber and steel canopy. Vertical timber fins provide texture and a flush glaze box defines the reception space. The windows above are staggered to provide visual interest, while the window reveals, clad in cedar, provide warmth.
The lakeside façade is predominantly glazed with glass balconies, providing a textural relief that sets up a rhythm interlaced with vertical timber shutters. Additional perforated metal panels and an external fire escape staircase clad in vertical timber fins provide visual interest.
Window placement has been considered with respect to the various elevations; limited glazing to the west prevents overheating in summer. The north elevation has appropriately sized windows that are set deep into the façade to provide a degree of shading. South-facing lakeside elevation can support larger areas of glazing meeting the clients brief around clear views out to the lake and mountains. All glazing is double glazed and thermally broken. Roof is a warm roof with 100mm PIR.
Natural ventilation throughout the building greatly reduces the energy consumption. Smart BMS controls gives the building management greater control and the ability to reduce lighting and heating when rooms are not in use.
The building materials includes the reuse of rubble from the demolition in the base course of the new building. FSC sourced cedar for soffits, cladding and selected details, low maintenance and highly recyclable aluminium cladding. South Island sourced Cellcrete cladding provides a relatively low maintenance durable façade.